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Steeple Aston
Oxfordshire
UK

9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.

Blog

Case studies and thoughts on the working Mum in today's workplace

 

The end of 9 to 5...

Helen Wright

I’ve been to Westminster this week and called for a revolution! I want to see a revolution in the work place, and an end of the 9 to 5.

While launching The 9-2-3 Club at The House of Commons I called on all businesses to advertise their next hire as a flexible one, and called on all candidates to ask about flexible working arrangements in their next interview – not a demand, just a question.

Of course 9-2-3 only works on roles with flexible working arrangements. We believe that flexible working leads to increased productivity, fewer sick days, greater staff retention – and a more motivated and engaged work force. And flexible working needn't mean part-time hours, for some it means working full-time but with compressed hours or home-working. Flexible working is for everyone.

The 9-2-3 Club is all about giving individuals the opportunity to get together and share experiences in an informal setting, and for those who have had a career break, hopefully enable them to gain in confidence before re-entering the workplace. We have more meetings planned in London and the Thames Valley and some really inspirational speakers lined up (keep an eye on www.923jobs.com/networking for all the details).

While at Westminster I also revealed the findings of a new survey commissioned by 9-2-3. It found the British workplace landscape will be changing substantially over the next 5 years as nearly 3 out of 4 (73%) office workers envisage that working flexibly will become the norm.

Flexible working is here to stay. Let’s start taking action to help it here faster!

As anyone who’s spoken to me will know – I’m passionate about flexible working, and I was thrilled with the support The 9-2-3 Club had at its launch. Representatives from businesses – big and small – along with candidates (those who have had career breaks and those who haven’t) plus others, such as Digital Mums, who like me, are campaigning for a more flexible workplace. The launch wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Victoria Prentis MP, who sponsored the event. She said:  “Having job shared before I became a MP, I am really supportive of any initiative that encourages flexibility in the workplace. It is not just mums and dads who have career breaks – increasingly we are seeing people taking on caring responsibilities for elderly relatives as well. Helping these talented professionals to continue to work is so important.”

I was also delighted that Margot James MP (Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility) came along and spoke passionately about the benefits of flexible working – for both employees, employers and society as a whole.

It’s funny to think that all this started a few years ago, while I was pushing my children on the swings at my local playground. I had been struggling to find any flexible or part-time work, and I looked around and saw I wasn’t alone. The playground was full of talented and experienced professionals all looking for flexible opportunities. And at the same time I realized there were lots of businesses out there struggling to find the talent they needed to help their business thrive and grow.

9-2-3 now has more than a thousand candidates on their books, and we look forward to welcoming many more. Companies of all sizes are also being invited to take part in The 9-2-3 Club, and join in the revolution!

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Be Bold For Change!

Helen Wright

This International Women’s Day, we are being asked to help forge a better working world, and #BeBoldForChange.

I’m definitely in!

I founded the recruitment agency “9-2-3” to try and do just that. I want to help enable and empower women in the workplace. Every day I ask businesses to consider flexible work practices. Every day I speak to talented women who feel their experience and expertise is being wasted because there are so few flexible opportunities.

I look around my local playground and see HR professionals, PR execs, marketing gurus, lawyers and accountants – none are working, because they can’t find roles that enable them to spend some time with their family (or at least pay them enough to cover full-time childcare costs!).

So this International Women’s Day I will be working even harder to try and create new flexible opportunities.

I am also looking forward to launching a Career Development Network that will enable women to connect with one another, and be inspired by other women who might be able to help further their ambitions – whether they are women on boards of big businesses, women who are successfully running their own business or women working for progressive companies looking to recruit flexible talent.

I truly believe in flexible working. All the research shows that flexible working leads to increased productivity, fewer sick days and greater staff retention. So this International Women’s Day, I am calling on businesses to Be Bold for Change and embrace flexible working!

07789270183 / HELEN@923JOBS.COM / www.923jobs.com

Who Does Actually Work 9-5 in Today's Economy?

Helen Wright

On 26th August 1994 the Sunday Trading Act came into force, possibly one of the pivotal moments that led to today’s 24 hour economy. In 1993 it was a struggle to get a pint of milk on a Sunday, today you can access your bank 24/7 and do your weekly shop (either in person or online) at 2am on a Tuesday! We expect our utilities to answer the phone at 8pm and would even email our accountant at 10pm!

The nature of our 24 hour society has changed the way people want to work. A recent Millennial Branding reportfound 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. Dori Albert, crowdsourcing practice manager at Lionbridge Technologies Inc., stated that ‘Millennials helped create a “new nature of work,” with increasing reliance on the gig economy and freelancing.’

Increased numbers of families with two parents working, along with expensive childcare has led many to seek flexibility. In 2014 there were around 7.7 million women with dependent children in the UK. Approximately 70% of these women were in employment (69.6%) - which was a higher percentage than for women without dependent children (67.5%).

With so many different organisations opening earlier or longer there is now surely an increasing need for staff to work hours outside the normal 9-5. Along with an increase in freelancers1, the traditional 9-5 is less the ‘norm’. So is flexible working slowly taking over?

Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economics professor, carried out a study in 2013 that found home-working employees made, on average, 13.5% more calls per week than their counterparts in the office. Which suggests that working from home is more productive - possibly due to the lack of ‘water cooler moments’ and office gossip, or maybe just fewer meetings! This suggests that even when your organisation operates 9-5, flexible working offers benefits. It is also worth considering that without a stressful commute workers have more energy.

It is possible in the near future we will be entering our virtual reality offices using some amazing technology and working at the hours that suit both employer and employee. Whilst the virtual reality concept may be a while off, the flexibility is available today. Employers who are forward looking are actively encouraging flexible working, and reaping the benefits of more dedicated staff, often willing to sacrifice salary for flexibility.

923 Jobs specialise in helping employers find staff to operate a flexible working model. If you want to find out more email helen@923jobs.com

 

1 UK Freelance Statistics

In the UK, the Professional Contractors Group estimates that:

●There are 1.4 million British freelancers working across all sectors

●This has grown 14% in the past decade

●The flexibility offered by Britain’s freelancers is worth £21 billion to the UK economy in added value

●78% of the UK public think that freelancing and flexible working help promote a good work/life balance

●72% think freelancing has a positive effect on family life